Person, Character

From The Practical Ontology & Compendium of Social Cohesion

Definition: As used herein, Person refers to a particular living Body of the genus Homo such as John Doe or Mary Smith with whom one has - or recently has had - direct contact. As used herein, a Character is otherwise a Person, living or now deceased, about whom one has a Degree of Certitude in the absence of recent direct contact. Compared to a Person, a Character is a relative abstraction. For example, to a German, a famous political leader living in Berlin, or China, or Brazil with whom the German has never had direct contact is a Character. Otto von Bismarck, Napoleon Bonaparte, George Washington, and a Neanderthal are Characters, too. The "people of Poland" are Characters as is "the Cleveland community." "Walmart customers" are Characters. And so on. Commentary The definition of Person is intended to be unremarkable. It clarifies, however, that corporations and similar legal entities are not Persons. Also, it defers discussions about a Person having a soul, the existence of God, an after-life, and other religious matters to the definition of the Body. In contrast to the Special Term "Person," the term "Character" emphasizes a fact: Most people, living or dead, are Characters - relative abstractions - to the Person who is Thinking about them.

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